Those of us who have pets can attest to the fact that they bring us joy. Moreover, an increasing amount of scientific evidence suggests our dogs may help us stay healthy. That explains why animals—primarily dogs and cats, birds, bunnies, and even llamas are becoming more common in places like hospitals and senior living facilities.
Pets have been used in medical settings for over 150 years, but it wasn’t until the late 1970s that scientists began to understand the scientific foundations for that link. Pet companionship may be a helpful tool for individuals of all ages, especially seniors, to provide purpose and involvement.
Spending time with a pet can help alleviate loneliness and isolation by providing comfort and companionship, lowering stress, and improving general health and wellness. We’ll discuss pet therapy, its different types, and its benefits here below.
A direct connection between a person and a trained animal is known as pet therapy. The animal’s handler is also a part of it. Pet therapy is used to help someone in recovery or coping with a health ailment or mental disease. The most common pets used in pet therapy are dogs and cats.
Fish, guinea pigs, horses, and other animals that match the screening criteria may be employed instead. The treatment plan’s therapeutic aims determine the type of animal selected. AAT and pet therapy are the same treatments. ATT activities are sometimes mistaken with AAA.
AAT is a formal, organized series of sessions helping people achieve specific therapeutic goals. AAA entails more informal interactions between an animal and its handler and one or more persons for the sake of comfort or recreation.
Pet therapy can take place in various settings, including retirement communities, hospices, rehabilitation clinics, and senior living facilities. You can find several senior living homes with a wide range of services in Michigan. Generally, an assisted living community in Oakland County provides various services for the elderly, notably pet therapy.
Domesticated cats and dogs, as well as farm animals, are employed in pet therapy. Therapy dogs must be highly socialized and understand how to engage with mobility-restricted seniors (after completing basic obedience training).
Three Kinds of Pet Therapy
For elders, pet therapy is considered a modest kind of treatment. It changes based on their needs and abilities. In general, there are three types of pet therapy:
First: Ownership Therapy: The individual truly owns the pet in ownership treatment. This is a fantastic alternative for active seniors who can adequately care for a pet. Walking and exercising a pet, accepting and paying for veterinarian treatment, and controlling grooming services are examples of this type.
Second: Visitation Therapy: The most popular kind of pet therapy is visitation therapy. Animals are brought to the senior’s home or facility for this form of treatment.
Third: ATT: It is a pet therapy intended for older citizens who require extensive rehabilitation. Seniors are partnered with susceptible animals, such as cats and dogs.
Benefits Of Pet Therapy For Seniors
A growing number of medical professionals recognize the therapeutic use of animals to help alleviate the symptoms of a variety of physical and mental health issues. Time spent in the presence of an animal has been demonstrated (in numerous studies) to influence our physical, cognitive, and emotional reactions. As a result, everyone, but especially seniors, can benefit from pet therapy.
Pet therapy is one of the first-class services at assisted living communities in Oakland County. Pet ownership has been shown to provide a range of psychological advantages. Animals may be calming to dementia patients who have difficulty utilizing language, and they can even help them speak and explain themselves when they are comfortable. Pets allow for nonverbal communication, aiding in the engagement of persons who have Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Changes in personal circumstances, pharmaceutical side effects, and lifestyle changes can all make seniors feel isolated. However, there are various ways to combat the blues, like cuddling up to a gorgeous and cuddly cat.
According to studies, bonding with an animal for 15 minutes causes hormonal changes in the brain. Stress decreases significantly as the brain produces serotonin, the feel-good hormone, as well as prolactin and oxytocin.
The well-being and mood of nursing home patients were examined in a study on the effectiveness of ATT. Those who had spent time with animals reported feeling substantially more ‘excited,’ ‘interested,’ and ‘motivated’ than those who had not.
Pets can also aid in the recovery of folks who’ve suffered a loss. When an older adult who recently lost a spouse forms a strong bond with a pet, they fare substantially better. Thanks to their dogs, they were significantly less depressed, which served as a great buffer against grief and stress.
Aches and pains, combined with limited movement, can lead to lethargy, sluggishness, and, eventually, deterioration of overall health. Consequently, being as physically active and mobile as we can becomes increasingly crucial.
Pet therapy for senior citizens is among the first-class, premium services provided by assisted living facilities in Troy City. Pet therapy can help the elderly stay active and energized by motivating them to make positive lifestyle adjustments. Along with the advantages of meeting new people, going out and about daily is highly beneficial to their overall health and well-being.
Providing Personal Goals
When older adults lose the ability to perform a task they were formerly quite skilled at, it might cause them to feel bereft. A resident’s care plan is frequently based on personal goals, whether physical, social, or mental in nature.
Pet therapy can help seniors achieve specific personal goals and can be easily integrated into care plans. A person’s aims and objectives in their care plan might be checked by aged care nurses, caretakers, or pet therapy teams.